Summer is in full force [ed. note: Or at least it was when this was written]: sizzling temperatures, clear skies, lush, green foliage, and countless opportunities to go to the beach. It’s also summer festival season. Oh yes.
If you’re in the northeast tri-state area, check into the Governor’s Ball Music Festival on Randall’s Island in New York City this past weekend [ed. note: I apologize to the author for not posting this in time, but this is still interesting as a study in how to do a festival app right]. This two-day musical extravaganza featured a varied line-up of alternative music (rock, pop, hip-hop, and electronica). Beck, Passion Pit, Modest Mouse and Fiona Apple are among the big names on the bill, but you also get exciting upcoming artists like electronic dance Dutch ambassadors Nobody Beats The Drum and local favorites Freelance Whales.
What makes this fest truly unique is the promise that no band/artist overlap with another — no more tough decisions, no more distractions, and no more sonic bleed from stage to stage (usually a sad hallmark of the summer festival experience, for those who are actually there hoping to hear some great music). On top of a killer lineup, Governor’s Ball featured all sorts of extracurricular activities from silent disco dance parties (it’s a headphone thing), to ping pong, to bocce (yep, bocce!) along with a huge variety of food booths for the discerning food+music aficionado.
That’s a lot of stuff going on, but the Governor’s Ball Festival App (free) makes everything easy to manage. It sorts the festivities into four sections: Festival Map, Lineup & Schedule, Food & Activities, and News & Socialize.
The Map is beautiful, with everything highlighted and purposefully labeled, including all of the food booths, unlike the usual “food court” label that one often finds. The Lineup & Schedule section offers a lot, and has different ways to slice it. You can search for artists alphabetically, or by daily schedule to find artist pages, replete with a biography and set time. You can “like” any band, although if you want to hear what they sound like, you’ll need to look outside the app for that.
The Daily Schedule lets you set alarms to notify you when your favorite bands are about to play (nice!), which is great for if you’re playing ping pong and don’t want to miss Modest Mouse’s set. Are you perhaps craving Texas BBQ while watching the Texas-formed band Explosions In The Sky? The Food & Activities section can point you in the right direction, which according to the app is “Hill Country,” named for the famous Texas barbecue zone, located conveniently next to the Beverage Lounge.
Like all good fest apps (we intend on seeing just about all of them this summer), this one acknowledges the music lover’s need to share their experience. The News & Socialize area made it easy to post status updates to Facebook or Twitter straight from the the app, in the latter case tagged with a uniform hashtag (#govballnyc), so everyone there could see what everyone else is saying, in real time.
Just like the Governor’s Ball Music Festival itself, this app is straight-up and to the point. The developers match the all-inclusive nature of this particular festival with style and grace.
Fun was had by all, judging from the photos; hopefully the organizers build on this app’s success in 2013.